Broughton is a wonderful village from which to start a walk, with many footpaths leading into the delectable countryside all around.

This route takes you through fine woodland, over rolling hills on a delightful walled lane, passes a much enjoyed pub and brings you back over pastures that are rather wet in parts at this time of the year – but walk carefully and you can keep almost dryshod.

There are two stiles that have tumbled because of the weather and care is needed to climb them.

Park in the Square, grid ref 214877.


Distance: 5 miles

Time: 3 hours

Terrain: Good paths and tracks, but also plenty of wet areas after the snow, thaw and rain.

Map: OS Explorer OL 6

1. Leave the square at Broughton by the north-east corner. Pass the toilet block and wind right with the track to reach the bed of the old railway line, now reinforced and easy to walk.

Pass through the cutting where all sorts of fascinating lowly plants flourish and go on by the two fine lakes. Pause on the seat beside the second one, from where you might get a glimpse of a kingfisher.

Carry on along the level way past forestry to come to a flat bridge over a farm track well below. A few steps beyond look left for some fencing and then a gate to its left, hidden from view.

2. Pass through the gate and the one opposite to join a glorious hedge-lined path. Go through two more gates and on up to walk a wide grassy trod, with trees dropping down to the railway track, out of sight as it passes through another cutting. Stroll on and step across tiny streams to reach a gate into woodland. Beyond, the track bears right and continues with pastures to the right. It then winds sharp left and climbs beside a tumbling stream and continues to the Coniston road, which you cross to go through a farm gate.

3 Ascend the track and stride on the lovely way as it winds steadily through rolling pastures to reach a road junction where the access road from Wallenrigg farm comes in on your left.

Walk ahead on the continuing hedged lane to reach another road junction and turn right. A few steps along take the signposted footpath on your left. Walk down the vast field with the hedge to your left, to the bottom left corner to pass through a kissing gate on the left.

Stride ahead with glimpses of Broughton Mills, through the hedge and then a copse on your right.

4. Almost at the end of the trees, look down through them to spot a good stile below and then choose the best way, though there is fairly good path. Beyond the stile continue down to reach a waymark on a garden fence that directs you right to wind round in front of a dwelling named Walk Mill on the map. Bear left beyond the dwelling to pick up its access track and stroll on to the road at Broughton Mills. Turn left and walk the narrow road with care to pass the Blacksmiths Arms and then right, just beyond it, to walk between the few houses in Shuttle Street.

5 Press on along the track to pass a dwelling, once a mill, on the right, overlooking a delightful stretch of the river.

Continue on to go through an archway with fine Lumholme to your right. Beyond walk ahead, beside the fence on your left, ignore a gate on the left and use the stones to reach a stile beyond a wet patch. Stroll on to cross a little footbridge.

Then go ahead along the stiled way to reach an easy-to-miss gate in the wall on the left into a hedged lane and walk right. A short way along go through a waymarked gate on the left and take the stile ahead into a shady track, sometimes wet, that winds around right to a squeeze stile beside a gate on to a pasture.

6 Follow the wide grassy trod that bears steadily half left to pass through a signed gap to the right of a huge oak.

Climb on steadily, keeping parallel with the wall/fence to your right, to pass through trees to the right of a large house – it can be wet underfoot here.

Keep on beside the fence on the left to reach a gate just before a stream racing to join the River Lickle. Step across the water and then the access track to the Hagg and climb the stile ahead into a large pasture.

7. Keep ahead crossing two more stiles (one difficult) and then a gap in the wall. Follow another sunken grassy track as it curves up to the wall and a stile on to the Coniston road.

Cross with care to take a stile up in the hedge, just to the right. Then pick your way ahead with care to cross a stream (can be boggy here) and join an indistinct narrow footpath heading on, right, across the pasture to a reach a farm track.

Turn left and take the next gate on the right into West Park. Stride across the parkland to the far right corner to a gate on to the road once again. Cross and wind left with care round the blind corner and walk on to the square.

NB: Restrictions on space mean that this article provides a general summary of the route. It is advisable for anyone who plans to follow the walk to take a copy of the relevant Ordnance Survey map.